Netflix Review: Star Trek The Motion Picture

Yesterday I was cruisin the interwebs, reading up on what is going on in the sections of the world that interest me.  I stumbled across an article about Voyager 1 reaching the edge of our galaxy, after being launched 33 years ago. It made me think of the original Star Trek motion picture and V ger.  So I threw it in the Netflix que (on instant!).  When I got home last night, Amber said she was down to watch it with me.

Before I get into my review, I feel I need to fill in some background information.  When I was eight years old, I had Chicken Pox.  My father, being the fantastic man that he is, went out and rented me every single Star Trek movie that had been made to that point.  (Probably through Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.)  So I had the opportunity to sit and watch amazing science-fiction, marathon style.

I must also admit that I am a Treker, or Trekie, whichever you prefer.  I have seen TOS, TNG, Voyager, Babylon-5 and Andromeda.  My favorite is still TNG, but that can be attributed to fond memories of watching it every week with my father.  Plus, I just loved the philosophical nature of each episode.  I always felt that Gene Roddenberry wrote it as one big thought-experiment.  And that should be kept in mind when you read the rest of this review.

First off, I think we all need to admit that there is no way in hell this movie would be made in this day and age.  This movie is 2h 10m long.  Half of that time is spent looking at porno shots of the models in the film.  And by models I do not mean Marissa Miller.

She's... one of them.

No.  I am talking straight Hustler Magazine, spread eagle shots of the Enterprise.

The money shot!

There were scenes that felt like they lasted five minutes of just showing fucking star ships.  Not even star ships in motion.  Just star ships!  If you edited all of the ship models out of this film its running time would fit into a normal episode.

On top of this, there is no  action.  Not one fight, not one chase scene, I don’t even think there is a single person running in this movie.  The only action shots consist of colors coming at you like you are Towelie on an acid trip.


With all of that said, I love this movie.  If this were a thought-experiment, it would be: what would happen if artificial intelligence grew into sentience.  That is the basis for the entire movie.

Now, I do need to bring up the sphincter.  The big bad in this movie is a giant ship that is headed straight for Earth, and destroying everything that gets in its way.  In the beginning of the movie, V ger destroys some Klingons.  Later it makes an entire space station simply disappear.  But then Kirk comes along with the Enterprise and learns how to communicate with it.  So he is allowed inside, and then about half of the movie is spent in front of V ger’s sphincter.  Watch the movie, you will know exactly what I am talking about.  The good news is that V ger does take another form as well.

Even sentient computer programs know sexy!

The last thing that I need to discuss is drugs.  The people who filmed and edited this movie were obviously on lots of them.  I assume they expected their audience to be as well.  This entire movie looks like the best late night planetarium experience ever.  There are colors and visuals that in 1979, when this film came out, must have been mind blowing.  Even today, I would say that the practical effects in this hold out much better than many of the CGI effects we see even today.  With films like this and 2001: A Space Odyssey,  you can see how much time and effort was put into the models.  It still looks beautiful.  But as I said before, you don’t need the hour of it that is in the film.

In the end, this movie really is for Trek fans or sci fi fans.  It is slow and thoughtful over action packed and sexy.  If you fall into either camp though, this movie is pure gold.

Have you seen Star Trek The Motion Picture?  What did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments.

~Ryan Lynch